This programme provides an accredited pathway for science-based graduates to become environmental health practitioners. It is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) as meeting its core curriculum requirements.
On completion of the MSc, those wishing to take the professional examination of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) will need to undertake up to 12 months practical training in an approved organisation and then take the CIEH professional examinations to become a registered Environmental Health Practitioner.
The course is taught using formal lectures; workshops; group work; case studies; practical simulations e.g. mock trial; industrial/commercial visits; and student centered learning. It is built around the foundation of knowledge and skills required by the CIEH.
Download the Postgraduate Environmental Health Sciences brochure (PDF 542KB)
Staff and students within the School of Geography, Earth and Envrionmental Sciences at the University describe the masters degree (MSc) in Environmental Health
'During the course I have gained a thorough understanding and learnt to apply relevant legislation and enforcement powers in all environmental health disciplines.' Nathita Fleet
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'I found the course was exactly what I had hoped for in an MSc, varied, stimulating and challenging. With tutors, experts in their fields, the lectures were interesting and relevant and I thoroughly enjoyed the course.' Kathryn Fry
Read a profile for Kathryn Fry
'I was awarded the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Graduate of the Year in 2009, which crowned two challenging yet enjoyable years.' Jenny Hopkins
Read a profile for Jenny Hopkins
'The course has provided me with a sound base of knowledge and greatly increased my confidence meaning I was successful in getting a placement at Chelmsford Borough council.' Natalie Malupa
Read a profile for Natalie Malupa
'I cannot overstate the importance Birmingham has played in laying the solid foundations on which to build my career.' Simon Elliot
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Top marks in CIEH Annual Graduate Award
The CIEH makes an annual competitive award to students, selected from the 13 accredited UK universities, who have the best academic records, achieve the highest results in the CIEH examinations and successfully present at a formal CIEH panel on a selected topic. In recent years our students have won a number of gold, silver and bronze medals.
Food Safety Control (30 credits)
Consideration of all measures needed to ensure the safety and wholesomeness of food at all stages from growth, through production, manufacture and retail until it reaches the consumer.
Occupational Health & Safety (20 credits)
Provides an understanding of the hazards that can affect Occupational Health and Safety, and is supported by methodologies for measurement and evaluation; intervention and control.
Housing Practice including Urban and Rural Regeneration (30 credits)
Explores the links between housing and health and presents strategies for urban and rural regeneration, and legal interventions that support policies of improving conditions for the inhabitants of poor housing accommodation and their deprived localities.
Environmental Protection and Climate Change (20 credits)
This provides a critical examination of the interaction between environmental pollutants and local communities including water and solid waste management; contaminated land; noise control; air pollution management and control and relevant planning controls. The origins and causation of climate change, its impacts and the mitigation and adaptation strategies which can be applied.
Law (10 credits)
Examines the English Legal System, and the legal procedures that support interventions available under Public Health and Environmental Protection legislation to solve serious problems of pollution, contamination, statutory nuisance, and public health illnesses, along with the requirements of criminal law in the collection of evidence and undertaking prosecutions.
Health Protection (20 credits)
To identify the determinants of health and social inequalities, and the socio-political context in which solutions may be found. To be able to apply the epidemiological methods and disease control strategies, apply the principles of disease association and causation, understand the role of the environment in the propagation of illness and disease, and responses to health emergencies and world pandemics.
Research and Study Skills (10 credits)
In preparation for the Dissertation, there will be instruction in statistics, study design, sampling strategies and hypothesis generation.
Dissertation (50 credits)
This will require independent research involving a critical literature review, primary data collection , analysis of results, and the synthesis and evaluation of conclusions and recommendations.
There will be a special emphasis in providing the student with an understanding of the role of the Environmental Health Practitioner within the broader public health field, and the necessary networks and partnerships required in the delivery of individual and community health related interventions.
Students must expect to attend 4-5 days per week in the autumn and spring terms. There is little teaching in the summer term with time set aside for completing assignments, examination preparation, and undertaking the Dissertation.
Practical Food Inspection
In addition to the MSc programme, each student will be required to undertake a specific training programme and pass an examination on the wholesomeness and fitness for human consumption of a range of food and food products to meet the professional practice requirements of the CIEH. The University will provide a short course followed by a certified examination. The price of this programme is not included in the MSc course fees and will cost an additional £300 for the training and examinations.
The course is modularised and structured so that part-time students can accumulate credits over a period of time. It is compulsory to take the Law Module first but this can be with any combination of other modules. The University allows five years to complete the MSc. Students who are Technical Officers within Local Authorities will be able to use their work experience to meet the requirements of the Experiential Learning Portfolio required by the CIEH.